Last week the chancellor held his final Budget announcement for 2015 before the general election which starts on May 7th 2015.
Here is a list of our top business related announcements to take away from the Budget:
Better Education and Support for SME’s
- Information on how to access and use legal services to be made available on the citizen’s advice and GREAT business websites.
- The skills investment fund has another 4 million pounds in funding which includes paid training for video game, animation and visual effects businesses.
Removal of Class 2 National Insurance
- Class 2 national insurance will be abolished – (Currently in place for the self-employed earning more than £5,885 per year)
- Class 4 national insurance will be reformed– (Self-employed earning over £7,956 per year)
- This will bridge the gap of confusion between ‘classes’ of national insurance payments for those who are self employed. Class 4 national insurance is due to be reformed and will be discussed later in the year.
Review of Business Rates
- A comprehensive review of business rates has been announced to try and save high street shops from the threat of online competitors and to give small businesses a chance to succeed.
Improved Access to Finance and the Markets
- Support for British companies trying to sell their goods overseas, in particular to china, has been given a boost by the government, as the UK Trade and Investment services are set to double with a funding increase announced in the budget- great news for those wishing to expand.
Rise in Personal Allowance
- The price on pay before tax is set to rise from £10,600 in 2015/16 to £10,800 in 2016/17 – increasing again to £11,000 in 2017/18
- The change in personal tax coincides with an increase in minimum wage which from October 2015 will increase from the current price for years 21 and over which is £6.50 to £6.80.
Self-Assessment Tax Return Reforms
- The government are keeping on top of the digital transitions and have announced plans to abolish the tax returns forms in favour of digital accounts to make it “easier” for those who apply for their annual tax return; individual accounts will be readily accessible online.
Focus on the North
- The chancellor continues his quest for a “Northern Powerhouse” and has announced us northerners are due to benefit from an investment in improved rail and road connections between northern cities.
- Greater Manchester is also due to benefit by the announcement of keeping 100% of business rates – put in place to increase jobs and revenue growth in the area.
Frozen Fuel Costs
- Last of all an increase in fuel charges has been abolished in favour of a freeze in prices, which by the end of 2015/16 will have been in action for 5 years – the longest duty freeze in over 20 years. Great news for the commuters!